Hello MabLab community!!!
In this post, I’m gonna share my technique to cut out objects in Photoshop, quickly, efficiently and professionally using a magic friend…THE PEN TOOL!!
Since I started this new exciting blog adventure, I realized how important it is for an online business to present its product, whichever product, WELL! This is strictly related to the quality of the images you use. When I realized this, I had two options:
- investing money in good quality stock photos
- investing time in building a good quality object library
Whoever is reading this post and found herself/himself building an online business from scratch like me, knows that especially at the beginning, every penny counts. I didn’t feel comfortable in making that investment, being also conscious that whichever money I’d spent, those same images could have potentially been used by others.
So, as I often do, for some strange sadistic reason, I went for the second option, which seemed the most difficult at first, but I saw there was a big plus. Building your own objects library gives you the freedom to realize bespoke images with your style and in line with your brand.
Then I also thought, wait a sec, I’m sure this technique could be useful for others too, so I decided to make this tutorial which inaugurates a new section in my Youtube channel called Photoshop Tips and Tricks!
Now let’s watch the tutorial! (For all the details, as always, scroll down until the end)
1. Draw your selection using the pen tool
If you are familiar with Illustrator and how to draw paths with Illustrator, you’ll be glad to know that the pen tool in Photoshop works very similarly. When you click, you fix the anchor point, and when you drag the cursor you create two directions point. As the name would suggest, the anchor point gives the path a fixed position, the direction points will help you give the path the direction you need.
My suggestion is to draw the selection area with less anchor points as possible, especially when you have to approximate a curve, as in this way the curve will be more fluid and easier to control. Don’t worry if the path is rough and not accurate at this stage as you can amend it by leaving the pen tool selected and pressing cmd (or control from pc). You should see a white arrow appear and by clicking on the path you’ll be able to modify it.
2. Save the path
As mentioned in the tutorial, one of the biggest advantages of the pen tool is that you can save the path you’ve drawn and access it whenever you need. That’s why it’s crucial you save it. Just access the paths tab and save it as shown in the tutorial.
3. Convert the path into a selection
Head over to the toolbar at the top and hit “Selection”. The path has now been converted into a selection
4. Invert the selection and delete the background
You’ve selected the object, but you actually need to remove the background instead. So you need to invert the selection. Just go to the toolbar at the top, then “Select” and “Inverse”. Now, you’ve selected the background and you can remove it simply pressing delete.
5. Final adjustments + Save in PNG format
My suggestion before saving is to create a new layer and filling it with black and white alternatively in order to check how the edge of the image is. If you see there are still traces of the previous background, you can access the path you saved (that why it was so important) and repeat the steps 1 to 4 again. Once you are happy with the result, just save in PNG format so that you can keep the transparent background and start using the object in your custom images!
Hope you found this post useful! I would be thrilled to hear your technique, so if you have any suggestion just type it in the comments here below!
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